The general secretary of the Federation of Public Services Employees (Fesp) of the union UGT in the Canary Islands, Francis Baptistreapply to Council of Tenerife to “intervene now” and directly assume the management of the largest residence for the elderly in the Archipelago, the Santa Rita Hometo “ensure proper care for residents” and protect the more than 400 jobs at this private foundation based in Cross port.
Bautista regrets that the Governing Council of the Institute of Social and Socio-Sanitary Care (IASS), dependent on the Cabildo, has decided temporarily eliminate 80 of the 374 places that he had arranged in the Santa Rita Home “until the quality of service and user safety is verified.” And he warns that “this decision will go directly against the workers of Santa Rita, since jobs will be reduced.” In his opinion, “what the Cabildo should do now is guarantee those jobs, intervene immediately in Santa Rita and take charge of the entire household.”
“What the Cabildo must do now is guarantee those jobs, immediately intervene Santa Rita and take charge of the entire home”
The IASS proposes a significant temporary reduction in the number of concerted places and the funds that are transferred to this entity, although everything is at the expense of the evaluative follow-up report of the resource that must be prepared by the Dependency Care Unit of the IASS. The initial proposal proposes to go from 149 to 127 low-requirement residential care places (-22); from 125 to 107 for medium-requirement residential care (-18); from 20 to 10 day care places (-10), and from 80 to 50 places in the personal autonomy promotion service (-30).
A reduction of 22% of the concerted places, which go from 374 to 294, which in the opinion of UGT “puts at risk many jobs that the Cabildo should guarantee.” For Baptist, “this decision is wrong, since the island of Tenerife has a deficit in the number of places available for the care of the elderly and cannot afford this reduction. In addition, it is a competition of the Island Council».
“We have opted to bring to light everything that happened in the Santa Rita Homebut the role of public administrations must be to ensure proper care for the elderly, with all hygienic and health guarantees, and cannot be limited to stepping aside, reducing beds, to harm so many workers who offer a public service», warns Baptist.
“This reduction in places only worsens the situation,” warns Bautista, who adds that “we are cheating at solitaire. yesf there is already a lack of social and health beds and public hospitals with health beds occupied by people who should be in these centers, the solution cannot be to eliminate vacancies created. You simply have to be responsible, monitor and if it is not complied with, intervene.
From UGT it is considered “fundamental” that “all the social and health beds of the Santa Rita Home be maintained because Tenerife cannot afford that reduction.” Francis Baptist urges the Cabildo, as in July 2021, to “immediately intervene in Hogar Santa Rita to maintain the number of beds and to guarantee the employment of so many workers who have faced this serious situation and now cannot be those harmed. It is a responsibility of the public administration, which cannot look the other way. Who is going to pay for this in the end? The workers and the residents? They are the victims of this situation».
“Not all have been summoned to testify”
Fran Bautista (UGT) harshly criticizes the 40-minute speech that the managing director of Hogar Santa Rita, Tomás Villar, gave in February before many of the almost 427 workers at the center. Villar said that he did not go alone to testify in court or personally but on behalf of the entire staff. He literally assured that “we are all going to testify in court as investigators. Everyone. Absolutely everyone. And they are going to tell us that we are abusers, that we starve the residents and that they are malnourished. That we allow scabies. We are all going even though the person who will be there is me. And I will stand up for you.” Bautista considers this speech inappropriate and remarks that “all the workers have not been summoned to testify, only this man has been responsible for what happened in the center.”